New Bay Agreement Holds Parties Accountable to Blueprint but Must Address Toxic Contamination

(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Vice President Kim Coble issued this statement regarding a proposed new Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, which was released today for public comment by the Chesapeake Bay Program:

"There are a number of elements to celebrate in this new draft Agreement. I am happy to see that the draft holds states accountable to the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, the plan to finish the job of restoring the Bay. However, the draft contains no specific goals to reduce toxic contamination. That is shortsighted.

"CBF is shocked that the new draft Agreement contains no specific goals to reduce toxic contamination. Twenty years ago the Executive Council debated, then agreed to set a goal of eliminating toxic impacts in the Bay. This draft Agreement moves us backward, not forward, with regard to stopping toxic pollution.

"We are also shocked that this draft Agreement fails to address one of the most critical environmental challenges to our planet—global climate change. How could this be possible in 2014?

"CBF acknowledges the hard work and commitment that has led to progress restoring the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams during the past 30 years. There is much about which everyone should feel proud, but there is still more work to do. CBF remains an active and enthusiastic partner to ensure progress continues and the goal of a clean Bay is achieved. We will work steadfastly to ensure the new Bay Agreement enhances and accelerates Bay restoration."

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